Diabetes, Memory and FoodThe study had 16 adults with type 2 diabetes eat a meal that was 3,356 calories (this is a really big meal — more than the total calories needed in a day — but you'll also find some meals at restaurants that look like this) with 50 grams of fat and 63 grams of carbs (and 25 grams of protein). They then tested their memory 60 minutes and 105 minutes after eating. After the meal, the participants in the study had problems with memory and other parts of the tests.
Water and VitaminsThen, to learn more, researchers took the same group and tested them 60 and 105 minutes after just drinking water. They then compared the water-only group to a group that took vitamins C and E after eating the same large meal (these vitamins are known to be strong antioxidants). The vitamin group did just as well as the water group (in other words, the vitamins seemed to undo the effects of the large meal on memory). Researchers believe that the vitamins help the diabetics' body cope with the oxidative stress caused by free radicals produced by the high-fat meal.
How to Stay SharpThis study is a very small, very early study in researching food and memory in diabetes. The conclusion, though, is just plain good advice: avoid eating high-fat meals and just eat healthier. One way to misunderstand this study is to think that you can just take vitamins to "erase" the effects of an unhealthy meal. We don't know enough about what is happening to say anything for sure, but you can bet that even if the postmeal vitamins help your brain in the short term, that bad meal is going to cause negative health consequences in the rest of your body and (maybe) even in your brain in the long-term. Remember, the best way to get those helpful vitamins in your diet is to eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. Here are some links to help you do that:
Source: Antioxidant vitamins reduce acute meal-induced memory deficits in adults with type 2 diabetes. Michael Herman Chui, Carol E. Greenwood. Nutrition Research. July 2008 (Vol. 28, Issue 7, Pages 423-429).
Antioxidant vitamins reduce acute meal-induced memory deficits in adults with type 2 diabetes. Michael Herman Chui, Carol E. Greenwood. Nutrition Research. July 2008 (Vol. 28, Issue 7, Pages 423-429).